According to various search engines, such as Google, secure websites will be held in higher regards when determining rank. This means that your site could be rated higher if it begins with the “HTTPS:” prefix. This is because secure socket layers protect visitors from several types of fraud by encrypting the transmission of data. It makes it far more difficult to “snoop” and steal information in this manner. When you want to protect your users while simultaneously improving the search ranking of your pages, installing a WordPress SSL certificate is one of the easiest and cost efficient ways.
The actual cost of the SSL certificate will vary from one hosting provider to the next. You’ll also need to take into consideration which SSL you need. For example, a standard certificate for personal and business websites could be significantly less when compared to higher security offered for eCommerce.
Installing the SSL on Your WordPress Site
Installation of the WordPress SSL certificate is relatively simple. In fact, there is very little coding or changes involved on your side. In a very short amount of time, you can offer secure pages to your visitors while improving your online authority. While you could manually make changes for redirects, it’s much simpler if you utilize the right plugin.
Getting the SSL
To start, you need to purchase the SSL from your hosting provider. You can easily find out what is required to install a SSL certificate on your account with GreenGeeks. Some services will allow you to transfer the certificate from third parties. However, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you don’t already have one available. If you have a different hosting plan, you could have been set up with the SSL as a default. You find this out by contacting your web hosting provider.
Installing the SSL
Once you have purchased the SSL, it needs to be installed. This is done by deciding which domain will have the certificate. If you have a hosting account with unlimited domains and maintain more than one website, you’ll need to choose which is getting the new SSL.
Using a Plugin to Make the Necessary Changes
Using a plugin can take a great deal of the work out of using the SSL for your site. Many of these will automatically make the necessary changes once your certificate has been purchased. Some will set up the site just by activating the plugin without requiring additional input from yourself. Here are a few of the best SSL plugins for WordPress:
Really Simple SSL
This plugin requires no additional setup outside of installation and activation. It will automatically make the changes to the .htaccess file if the SSL is detected on your site. You can also view the configuration settings of what has been controlled by the plugin.
CTW SSL for CLoudflare
For those who use Cloudflare for their SSL, this plugin will automatically install all needed changes as well as prevent a common problem of redirecting loops. This is another one of those plugins that will make the appropriate changes once it has been installed and activated.
WP Force SSL
WP Force SSL is a plugin designed to prevent pages and posts from being accessed through HTTP rather than the secure HTTPS. It automatically redirects all traffic of your site to the correct certificate-driven content. This plugin will make the necessary adjustments for you.
Modifying Your WordPress Settings
After installing the plugin to govern your SSL, it’s time to change the settings in WordPress. Go to the “Settings” section of your dashboard. Here, you will see a text box for “Site Address.” Make sure your domain’s prefix shows “https.” This will help the redirect of your secure content and will solve a few problems with posts and pages not showing correctly.
Modifying the .htaccess Page Manually
Should you want to modify the .htaccess manually, the coding is quite simple. Just open the file in an editor and enter the following lines:
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://yourdomain.com/$1 [R,L]
Setting up a WordPress SSL certificate is less troublesome than what you might think. It can help visitors feel confident in your pages while enhancing how the world views your site in search engines. Think of the expense as a way to enhance the marketing capabilities of your website. Your content could be more readily available in comparison to competitors just by having the SSL installed on the domain.
What kind of security measures do you have on your WordPress site? Do you think the extra cost per year is worth the security and effort of the SSL?
Once you’ve started your WordPress blog, your next task is to drive traffic to it and get your content in front of your audience. One of the best ways to do that is to use social media. When you create a social media strategy for your blog, you can effectively drive more traffic to it and reach a new audience for your content. Naturally, a nicely designed exit-intent popupwill help you make use of all that new traffic and help you grow your email list.
If you have been using WordPress for awhile, you probably know that there is a myriad of plugins that allow anyone to quickly share your content on almost any social media platform imaginable.
However, sharing is not the only way to integrate social media into WordPress. With a little bit of creativity, you can make use of social media in more than one way and get more eyes on your posts.
Grow Your Social Following
To drive traffic to your site, you first need an audience. The easiest way to grow your audience is to tap into your social media profiles and start connecting with others in your blog niche. The more followers you have, the easier it is to send them to your website.
Put your blog to use and add links to your social media profiles to your sidebar, footer, or header of your website. This will help your profiles get noticed and make it easy on your followers to follow you on their preferred platform.
A plugin like Social Media Flying Icons is a very popular and highly-rated plugin that can help you grow the number of your followers.
Use Social Logins For Commenting
There is no better way to encourage conversation on your site than comments. They show that you are willing to engage with your readers and help you develop a loyal community of readers and visitors. And once they know you care about your community, chances are, they will follow you on one of the platforms.
Follows aside, the commenting process on your site should be a quick and painless process. Do away with a comment form that asks for an email and password and opt for one that allows visitors to use one of their social media profiles. Most of us use social media on a daily basis so it makes it that much easier on your readers to log in with a website they’re already logged into, rather than a separate email and password.
Automate Your Content Broadcasting
Sharing your post on each and every social media manually can turn into a time-consuming process. While you can schedule your posts in social media management tool of choice, you still need to ensure your posts get shared immediately after you publish it. However, with the amount of tasks on a blogger’s plate as well as real life duties, it’s all too forget that scheduled post that was published this morning..
Make your life easier and consider using a plugin that will automatically share your post the minute it goes live. From Jetpack’s’ Publicize module to NextScripts: Social Networks Auto Poster, there is no shortage of plugins for the job. You can connect Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and many other services. In most cases, you will also be able to use a URL shortener to make those long links fit into the content of your social media post.
Alternatively, consider using a plugin like Click to Tweet to create tweets and embed them into your post so readers can share them directly from your post.
Hide Some of Your Content Behind Social Media Buttons
Consider hiding some of your longer posts behind social media buttons. This will make the content hidden from your visitors and if they want to see it, they will have to share it first. This can help generate interest for your content and increase the number of shares on that particular post. You can also use this method to promote a download of an ebook or a workbook and ask your readers to follow you or share the content in exchange for the download.
However, as effective as this method it is, it can also backfire if you use it too much. Rather than hiding everything, experiment and use it only for your best content that deserves extra attention.
Social Media Feeds
If you don’t have enough of content on your website or don’t have time to publish on a regular basis, put your social media feeds to use. This will allow you to nurture the relationship you have with your audience and still provide them with some form of content. You can use feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other networks. Aside from generating content, it can also encourage your readers to follow you on either one of the social media platforms.
You can manually insert a widget from almost any social media network, simply by generating a small snippet of code and pasting it into your site where you want the feed to appear. From Pinterest boards to Facebook Pages, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, the choices are endless so why not take advantage of them?
Make Your Website More Social
Sharing plugins are not the only way to make your site more social. From adding your social media profiles to sharing your social media feeds, there are various ways you can make use of your social media presence and grow your followers. Whether you use plugins or add the code manually, your website will transform into an inviting community, encourage people to follow you, and that in turn will lead to more readers and a bigger audience for all the great content you put out there.